Tuesday 14 July 2015

Common, Manchester

I last visited Common when it had just reopened after a fairly significant facelift. Gone are the graffiti covered walls treasured by every hipster and his (cool) dog, in favour of a more grown up Scandinavian style dining area with cool lampshades. The bar is much bigger now too, meaning you can actually get served without fear of brushing against someone's carefully coiffed beard. 

I went with my homie Phil on Friday to sample the new dinner menu. Intrigued by the pictures I'd seen of the 'small plates', we ordered a decent mix of nibbles and bits, which when combined were enough to leave us feeling a little left of slumberous. 

Mikkeller - Spontan Dry Hop Citra 5.5% ABV (citrus sour)
Strawberry Mule - Finlandia, strawberries, fraise de bois, lime juice, gomme, ginger beer
It was hot as hell outside, and the large dining room windows were fully pushed back to invite in a gentle breeze. What better way to start the weekend than with some lovely drinks? Phil went for a half of the Mikkeller sour they had on draught, and I opted for a beautifully refreshing strawberry mule.
Common - drinks
Korean Fried Chicken - Gochujang sauce: Sweet and sticky yet slightly hot, served on a bed of kimchi slaw. I'll get onto that in a bit.
Common - Korean fried chicken
Spiced Lamb Taco - carrot, tzatziki: I could eat a big pile of these - I'm glad I didn't as it would have scuppered everything else.
Common - Spiced lamb taco
Deep Fried Pickles: Really sharp with a crunchy batter; I loved these deep fried pickles because they retained their crunch.
Common - Deep fried pickles
Beef Chilli Fries - cheese, jalapeños: Seriously good. No, 'upsettingly' good. These were like your standard 'nacho fries', but had the added joy of pulled salt beef thrown into the mix.
Common - Chilli fries
Kimchi Slaw: Looks like a pile of veg, but had a delectable sweet zinginess about the stuff. Genuinely made me joyous. Who would have thought that a bowl of stuff that's good for you could bring so much happiness?
Common - Kimchi slaw
Reuben Burger - salt beef, emmental, sauerkraut pickle: There was nothing that I did not love about this burger; served pink, lots of cheese, pickles and more of that salt beef. I'm ordering this again.
Common - Reuben burger
Passionfruit Caipirinha - Sagatiba Velha Cacaçha, gomme, lime wedges, fresh passionfruit: I really couldn't choose between the cocktails, so I gave our barman a brief - 'fruity'. He came back with this passionfruit caipirinha, which was like liquid sunshine. I urge you to try this.
Common - drinks
Fluffer Martini - Passion fruit, Chase Vodka, passionfruit gomme, prosecco: And then this one... more passionfruit, but this time mixed with a bit of fizz. Very refined. Then they went and called it 'fluffer', and made me laugh.
Common - drinks
Chocolate and Pistachio Doughnut: We couldn't go without getting my doughnut fix. Homemade on the premises by talented house elves, these doughnuts are the closest thing I have found to the legendary St John articles. Each day brings a plethora of new flavours to try too. This was packed with dark chocolate and pistachio.
Common - Doughnut
Raspberry Jam Doughnut: I'm a fan of the fruity filled doughnut, so had to go for the classic raspberry jam. So much homemade jam... I am genuinely bereft that this isn't before me now. I had to go back on Sunday to get another. Second time round it was plum and vanilla jam. You have no idea...
Common - Doughnut
Go to Common on a Friday or Saturday night and you have a bustling space full of people enjoying delicious food, beer and cocktails, but visit during the day and it's equally welcoming to families. There are still a few cool dogs outside like, but in all honesty, I proper dig them. I saw a cracking pair of Boston terriers the other day...

Disclaimer: I was invited to Common to try their new dinner menu. I was under no obligation to say anything nice, to like the dogs sat outside, chat to the waitress like we'd been friends since primary school, or scoff their doughnuts. Also, I made the house elf thing up. I have no idea if they wear pillowcases or not. I suspect not. 

Square Meal

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